The Democratic mayor of Phoenix is calling on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE to use a campaign-style rally in the city Tuesday night to apologize for his remarks about the violence in Charlottesville, Va. 

Mayor Greg StantonGregory (Greg) John StantonLawmakers push to increase diversity of tech inventors Mark Kelly considering Senate bid as Arizona Dems circle McSally Phoenix mayor: Trump should use rally to apologize for Charlottesville comments MORE said in an interview on MSNBC on Tuesday that Trump had "inflamed racial tensions" by appearing to defend white nationalist protesters who incited violence during demonstrations in the Virginia college town earlier this month.

He also said that the president's comments revealed a "failure of moral leadership."


"He ought to look at the people of Phoenix, he ought to look at the American people and say 'I am sorry for my failure of moral leadership after Charlottesville, I blew it,' and try to make right," Stanton said. 

In an op-ed in The Washington Post on Monday, the Phoenix mayor revealed that he had asked Trump to postpone his visit to the city, because he feared the president would use the opportunity to further stoke racial tensions. 

"America is hurting. And it is hurting largely because Trump has doused racial tensions with gasoline," Stanton wrote. "With his planned visit to Phoenix on Tuesday, I fear the president may be looking to light a match."

Stanton reiterated his call for Trump to delay the visit, telling MSNBC on Tuesday that it isn't the right time for such a rally. 

“It is the wrong time for a presidential visit, the wrong time for a campaign rally so soon after the tragedy in Charlottesville,” he said.